I constantly compare myself to other people. Even when I was at my heaviest, I would look for other girls that I thought were my size or larger just to see what I looked like. I continue to do this now. I think all women are constantly looking at others and ‘sizing’ themselves up.
We hear the phrase “You are your only competition” all the time, but how many people really do this? I would say in almost every area of my life, this is true for me. I compete with only myself in my career. I hold myself to a set of expectations and meet them. I push myself and don’t really care what others think about it as long as I’m happy with it. I also do this in my marriage. I don’t have a cookie cutter relationship with roles and regulations like some might expect to see. We break rules all the time. Again, our relationship works for us and I could care less what people think. BUT I do struggle with this when it comes to my image.
I could have written this whole post like, I don’t care what people think when they look at me and I’m my only competition. But that’s not really how I feel. I still compare myself to other women all the time. I still wonder what I look like to other women and men. But I do think the lens that I look through is different now. When I used to see a thin girl, I would get jealous mad. I was mostly mad at myself and the choices I had made. Now when I see one, I know what work they have put in. There are women out there that never think about food or fitness but this is RARE. I know the difference in the physique of someone who works out and who doesn’t. Now, sometimes I’m still jealous when I see them but I’m jealous because it’s something I want to do too!
I would even say that 15% of women have been dropped off my radar. These 15% are too thin, unhealthy and unattractive. I don’t want to be a size 2 because I don’t think it’s attractive and the hubby agrees. Then there’s the 20% that I think I’m in now: thin, active, muscular. Of course there are then heavy, overweight, obese and morbidly obese women still too. When I see these women, I’m comparing them to my old self and wishing I could do something to help them. I wish I had a t-shirt that said “ASK ME HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT, BECAUSE YOU NEED TO!” and that I wouldn’t have things thrown at me for wearing it.
So basically……….I’m saying it’s ok to judge but these women aren’t your competition. The real competition is the battle you are fighting inside but look at other bodies. Which one looks like yours? Which one do you want to look like? Which ones don’t you want to look like? Pick one and go for it!
I am a huge enemy of the thyroid! I consistently discuss thyroid issue or undiagnosed issues with people all the time. One of my first questions when someone tells me they are going to start to try losing weight is always, “Have you had your thyroid tested?” Unless you have experienced thyroid issues, it is difficult to explain them to someone else. I no longer have a thyroid and don’t have to deal with these problems anymore! You can read the whole story here: The Thyroid Saga .
Whenever I stumble across an article about the thyroid, I almost always read it. So many people have been through the same issues as you or even worse. I found this article interesting and very true:
Remember: I am not a medical professional and neither is this author. However, all the information I read here was correct in my own experience as well. Hope this brings a few of you answers!
It’s time to forgive yourself. In order to move forward with a new lifestyle, you have to let the old you go. I think this is the hardest part of weight loss. It sounds silly, of course if you are hoping to lose weight you expect that you’ll change. However, when it’s actually happening, it’s a whole different ball game.
Forgiveness: Forgiveness is a hard lesson to learn and it’s hardest to forgive your past self. There is absolutely nothing you can do about choices you’ve made in the past. You have no control over what you’ve already done. You can only control what happens in the present and future. You must learn to forgive this person for what they have done to you.
I learned to forgive myself by letting go of who I used to be. I didn’t want to be that person anymore or make those choices that were causing me to be so obese. I didn’t like her anymore. I didn’t want to be disappointed in myself and how I looked anymore. So I chose to start counting my successes instead of my mistakes. In the beginning, my mistakes definitely outweighed my healthy choices. But I learned to compare how I was eating now to how I used to eat. Every time I made even the smallest of good choices, I counted that as a success. You’ve seen me write many time about how fast little things add up. Each choice you make, changes the outcome on the scale the next morning, week and month.
So today, stop keeping track of what you do wrong. Focus on what you’re doing right! The more you focus on the positive, the more you’ll want it. The more you celebrate good choices, the more good choices you’ll make and the easier it will get. Stop it. It’s time to forgive yourself.
This past week was pink week at my gym to support breast cancer. During a workout this week, my trainer said something that has stuck with me all week and has helped me not only through workouts but tough days at school and long nights in meetings.
“Fight because you can. Fight for those who can’t.”
While there are people everywhere who are choosing to be unhealthy, unactive and obese, there are others that are struggling each and everyday, plagued by something they can’t control. We are so lucky to be who we are and have what we have. I now know how lucky I am to have a healthy lifestyle and to have adopted it so completely. Sometimes when I look back at this last year, I realize I could have just done nothing. I could have stayed exactly the same and continued to make the same choices I’d always made. But I chose not to.
There are others out there that have no choice what life has given them. I have been very lucky and thankful not to have breast cancer, or much cancer at all, within my family tree. What I can’t believe is how long I was choosing to be unhealthy when there are so many others who don’t get to choose.
A lot of people think what I’ve done is amazing. While I believe that’s true, I don’t think it’s anything close to what some of these women go through. Sure, I cut back on calories and went without candy and chocolate for months at a time. But really? How can that compare to the Big C? Right now I’m sitting at Starbucks and filling time before my Saturday morning workout. During my workout today, I will push myself a little harder, run a little faster and lift a little more. Why? Because I CAN. Do it for those that CAN’T.
As a professionally trained singer, I know how to breathe. I know how to use my diaphragm to hit the high notes and keep things in tune. My lung capacity is excellent and I can hold a note longer than almost anyone I know. However, my lungs had not a clue what to do while I ran!
It sounds silly but there is a proper way to breathe while you run. If your lungs are burning, you are coughing or can’t catch your breath, you’re doing it wrong. As you condition, your lungs will become stronger and allow you to run longer. Also, your recovery time when you finish should get shorter and shorter. Here’s a link to a short article I liked about how to breathe when you run:
I have written about small changes several times now and even did a full post including a calorie count. You can read it here: It’s the small things. While I was exploring Pinterest, a favorite past-time of mine, I ran across this chart:
I lost most of my weight in the beginning by making small changes like you see above and the weight DID come off and DID add up quickly. Even though I have gone through it, I was still shocked by the amount of weight you could lose in a year with small changes like these. By the way, if you add them all up, it adds up to 90 pounds.
Now, I don’t know the source of this chart. I don’t know if it is made by medical professionals or Joe Schmo in his basement. However, from my experience the chart is actuate and attainable.
To explore my pinterest, click the P at the top of the page to see what I have pinned or start your own account!
This was TOTALLY me today. All day I felt irritable with the world. I just had one of those days where it felt like I should have never left the house. I felt hungry ALL day. I felt like I thought about eating food 98% of my day. I thought about candy and melted cheese several as if they were a mirage and I was in the Sahara.
I have to say that while I never ate any candy, I did eat at Taco Bell tonight. 710 calories worth, you know I checked. So it’s true. I’m not perfect nor should you ever imagine that I am. Everybody needs to just eat the meal they are dying for, within reason, sometimes. Everything in moderation of course. **Footnote: I ate Taco Bell after going to Body Rock class at the gym where I was pretty sure my triceps were just going to melt away. I mean seriously, how many push ups does a girl need in her life? How many squats is too many squats? Are you sure that’s not going to kill me? I hear Frankie saying somewhere: It won’t kill you. You can do another! NAMASTE!
To be clear: other than usual work stress I am not going through some sort of emotional trauma. I just have normal woman-hate-the-world-syndrome. But today I just couldn’t make a better choice and I think that’s ok too. Sometimes life just happens. Since I know how many calories I burn in a Frankie Class, I know how many I can eat. Granted, I also have to account for the high sodium content. I believe that as long as I’m being honest with myself about where I am and my choices, it will be moot. Now this isn’t about forgiving my poor choices like they don’t matter or reasoning with myself because I feel guilty. When I have a takeout meal nowadays, I’ve already made sure that I’ve balanced it with something else. I’ll always wish I ate less fast processed food no matter if I do once a year.
During my weight loss journey over the last 16 months (holy cow, really?!?) I feel like I have: 1. Decreased my fast food intake by 70 – 80%, 2. Figured out what to eat when I DO eat fast food, 3. Understand the pit falls and errors when eating fast food. (Possible future blog? Look for it.) So while I do wish I never had the craving for fast food, it’s inevitable for me. And if you have a problem with the hunger beast who is quiet for the first time all day, you can deal with her.
On Septmeber 11th I hit my goal weight. I haven’t posted about it because I’m still weeding through the feelings of what that even means.
I knew it was coming. My weight was really really close to finally seeing 165, healthy weight. When I stepped on the scale that morning, I didn’t know how I would feel. When I saw the magic number, 165, I felt…..nothing. I was hoping to feel relief, like, FINALLY it’s over! But if felt like weighing in every other day. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a celebration dance party or huge sense of relief.
At first it scared me. If I’m not celebrating reaching my goal after such a long journey, have I not learned anything? We did not go out for a special meal. I didn’t even buy myself a present or really celebrate in any sort of way. It felt weird! I thought for sure I’d want to go out for a Big Mac or banana split.
After a few days, I was proud of myself. After reaching my goal weight, I didn’t fall off the wagon. I didn’t want to eat a Big Mac or go out for ice cream. This new lifestyle that I’m following is real. It’s now been three weeks and I’m maintaining or dipping below goal weight. I guess I really have changed and it feels good!
I do not think it’s bad or wrong to celebrate reaching goals. However, I would recommend not rewarding yourself with unhealthy food. It’s very confusing for your brain. Celebrate with a day at the park, a hike, a gift or a manicure.